Kyiv, 19 April 2022 – Today, Maryna Lazebna, Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine and Karolina Lindholm Billing, Representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Ukraine signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at expanding their partnership and cooperation to provide people internally displaced due to the war with greater access to social services and cash assistance to meet their basic needs.
Since 24 February, 12 million people – more than a quarter of the population of Ukraine – were forced to flee their homes. More than 4.9 million people have fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries, making this the fastest growing refugee crisis since World War II. A further 7.1 million people have been displaced internally within Ukraine.
‘This war has led to so much suffering, and displacement on an unprecedented scale. The needs are huge and growing by the minute. The Ukrainian government was fast to adapt its social protection programmes and IDP registration to respond to the emerging needs. But a crisis of this magnitude needs everyone’s support. This partnership will further strengthen our collective efforts to help displaced people access assistance and services, and rebuild their lives wherever they have found safety in the country’ said Karolina Lindholm Billing.
One of the ways UNHCR supports displaced people in Ukraine is through its multi-purpose cash programme. This programme, which is aligned with and complementary to the Government’s and Ministry of Social Policy’s social assistance programmes, is being rolled-out in all the oblasts hosting large numbers of displaced people. The cash assistance provided by UNHCR to displaced people in a particularly vulnerable situation, like pensioners with low income, helps the beneficiaries meet their basic needs such as rent, food, and hygiene items.
‘The Government of Ukraine and the Ministry of Social Policy strongly leads in the provision of different forms of assistance to people impacted by the hostilities, and UNHCR is grateful for the excellent cooperation extended to ensure that the support and assistance provided by our humanitarian organisation complements and reinforces the national programs’, stressed Lindholm Billing.
Through this MoU, UNHCR will also contribute to the further development of the national legal and policy framework on social protection by providing legal and other advice, including on international practices, and support the capacity of social protection departments around the country to service the higher number of persons in need of social services due to the war.
‘UNHCR’s interventions will be guided by the views, needs and capacities of displaced people and the local communities. We will therefore continue to work at community level and engage local communities and service providers in the development of programs that affect their lives. This is key for sustainability – there should be nothing for the people without the people’, added Lindholm Billing.